By Aaris Sherin
Published by Bloomsbury ISBN 978-1-4725-8929-3
Review by Rachel Morris
Richly illustrated with roughly 500 images; the book contains a mixture of examples of the many and varied applications of graphic design alongside engaging diagrams. It’s a winning format, particularly for visual learners. The written information is gorgeously digestible and concise and it’s all rounded off with a glossary and comprehensive index, so you can work your way through the book from beginning to end, or dip straight into a fount of information to answer a specific question.
Each colour-coded chapter opens with a bold number on its signature coloured background, and a comprehensive list of ‘key terms and concepts’. The author invites you to keep an eye out for how these terms are used in the narrative. Familiarising yourself with the language of design makes the terminology you will come across as you study far less daunting.
There are ‘Exercise’ pages throughout the book, tinted grey, making them easy to find as you flick through. These punctuate the text nicely and serve, through practical application, to consolidate all the information you’ve just taken in. Another useful feature are the ‘Chapter in Review’ pages. These are set out as a list of ‘Do’s and Don’t’s’ – guidelines that leave you with a clear picture of what you should have picked up in the preceding chapter. There are also ‘Design in Action’ pages; case studies that are, again, colour-coded to give them their own identity within the text.
The subjects covered in each of the nine chapters give you a clear understanding of the journey through the considerations a designer uses to build a beautiful design.
For students of design, anyone thinking of studying Graphic Design, educators, any designers feeling a bit jaded or rusty, and anyone who works alongside designers, this book would be a valuable asset. As a student, it introduces you to the concepts and language you will encounter as your study progresses. As a graphic design tutor, here’s a handbook of how to guide your students! For anyone else working in the field of design, the content crystalizes the questions you’re probably asking yourself every day as you go about solving problems visually. If you work with designers who occasionally use unfamiliar terms, this is a great guide to demystifying the process to make collaborative working more smooth.
Over all, the book sets out with sparkling clarity the many facets of the process of graphic design.